Christian relief organizations are celebrating the release of three Christian Azerbaijani men from prison in Iran.
The men were released on bail and returned to Azerbaijan where they were reunited with their families. Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, explains why the men were arrested in Tehran.
"They went there earlier this year to celebrate a wedding and celebrate their Christian faith,” he says. “And their houses and their homes were raided, and they were put in solitary confinement for a number of months - and then they were moved together in another cell, but they haven't been able to be free for months."
Staver tells OneNewsNow the men are not out of the woods yet. He prays they will be acquitted of what he calls "the baseless charges they face.”
"These are three individuals who haven't been able to communicate with their families,” he says. “[The families] didn't know whether they were alive or dead and now there's at least a positive sign. It's a small step but it's a step, and I think it just encourages us to continue to move forward and work harder."
Liberty Counsel's humanitarian project "Liberty Relief International" has been working in the Middle East since 2014, seeing unprecedented persecution there against Christians.